The king of the XIIIASTE fighters for the Amazon prize was on a strange last generation. Many people in the fighting game community are attracted by the fantastic 2D sprites and multiplayer gameplay of the game, which has earned it a well-received reputation in the few years that the hunter graced the most important Evo stage. The only problem with KOF XIII? A terrible online game that has killed the competition. Five years after the release of KOF XIII, developer SNK gives us an excellent follow-up with King of Fighters XIV ($ 59.99), a game that maintains the series of fun fights as you move into new territory. The exclusive PlayStation 4 fighting game includes an incredibly fun combo system, lots of new attacking and defensive options and online games that, although not perfect, allow you to mix them with people. from all over the world. If you can look beyond the clogs of the graphics, you will find that The King of Fighters XIV is the best fighting game to release this generation console.
You get what you pay and more
Unlike Street Fighter V $ 19.99 at Amazon, KOF XIV has an absolutely stackable alignment dimension right outside the door. You can use any of the 16 teams of three as soon as you start the game and two more characters are unlocked by playing in Story Mode. Fortunately, SNK did not photograph Shomanigans in Capcom style by locking characters behind the payment walls or slowly spreading them during the “seasons”.
Everyone who knows fighting games recognizes the story mode. You choose your team of three characters (one of the pre-defined teams or an individual from a predefined team to form an adapted team) and play a series of matches against opponents that are controlled by the CPU. The campaign contains well-made cutscenes and dynamic and humorous dialogues between characters and stories. For example, when my Luong was against Ramon, the hunters went into a humorous and personal dialogue exchange. This one mechanism encouraged me to replay the Story Mode to see more character interactions. Note: defeating the level of difficulty of the CPU Story mode at level 5 is a real test. It is difficult to induce salt, just like the story mode of a fighting game.
Learning is not easy
The tutorial KOF XIV did a decent job to introduce you to the basic mechanics of the game, but it does not teach you to really play the game. It hurts KOF XIV more than Street Fighter V and Mortal Kombat XBest Price: € because that’s a game that goes deeper than its competitors. SNK should have reproduced the remarkably thorough tutorials found in Killer Instinct and Skullgirls 2nd Encore.
Then there are tests that teach you how to make combos. In KOF XIII each character had ten tests, but they were not very effective in the fight. In KOF XIV, each character has five evidences, all practical. You start with a simple link or a move confirmation, which will take no longer than a minute if you have a fighting game experience. From there it becomes more difficult, but in a logical way, if you see your combos grow and have more aspects of the gameplay of KOF XIV. Performance is paramount in the KOF series. To be good, all KOF players have to work on their inputs and their work on the buttons, and that takes time. I strongly recommend that people take the time to play the events because the mode gives you the skills to do great damage to opponents.
Fortunately for inexperienced players, KOF XIV is much more accessible to newcomers, in terms of broader performance windows and new Rush Combos (more on that in a bit).
Three is the magic number
The KOF XIV follows the KOF XIII and many other games in the series by concentrating the fights on three against three, as a team. There are no tag-ins or help in this game, instead a character plays until it is defeated. This means that you can beat your opponent’s team with only your first character. This is where the strategy comes in.
The composition of the team and the order of the hunters are very important thanks to the Max Meter. The first character has a maximum counter level 3, the second letter a maximum meter level 4 and anchor receives highest meter level 5. Therefore some characters are more efficient in the third box because they use very harmful combos every five meters. Other characters can suffer damage and solid performance with fewer meters. This is just the tip of the iceberg regarding the strategy inherent in the three-to-three game of KOF XIV.
Kris-Kross will …
Jumping in KOF is very different from other 2D fighting games: it is the equivalent of the third dimension of 3D-hunters. With the standard regular jump there are small jumps and jumps. The most important of the three is the small hops, because it is an excellent pressure instrument. Because of its speed, the small jump makes it difficult to counter with an anti-aircraft movement. Most normal solid attacks made after your jump are relatively safe, even in block mode, allowing you to stay on the offensive and keep the pressure on the boiler. Of course there are tools to handle the constant pressure of the jump, but the impact of the mini-jump is enormous and the landing of a jump in a combo can lead to devastating damage.
KOF also allows you to get through the attacks, another offensive move that you will not find in Street Fighter V. This is very useful to fire projectiles, close the distance to an opponent or escape from adverse positions such as being stuck in the left or right corners. The roles are not a release card because they make your character very vulnerable to throws.
What is a modern fighting game without combos? In fact, what is a KOF game without crazy combos? The KOF XIV continues the KOF tradition of great combos that require a lot of timing and execution while doing great damage. In KOF, the amount of work you put into the game is largely demonstrated by the complexity and damage of your combos. For those who are new to KOF or fight games in general, SNK has come up with a smart way to make contagious combos with minimal execution and timing until you get better.
Rush Combos are automatic combos that can eliminate players by quickly crushing the light button when they are close to an opponent. With Rush Combos you learn the timing of combos after blocking or avoiding an attack. Rush combos are not static issues. They change depending on whether you have a full Max counter or entered the Max mode, an improved status that you can enter to do more damage.
SNK balances the Rush Combos by significantly reducing their damage. He is an intelligent mechanic and implemented in a way that does not disadvantage experienced players. They have no advantage in making a normal combo, except for the ease of execution. Think of Rush Combos as an aperitif with a full meal and make combos as main course.
The real test
The online game of KOF XIV is much better than that of KOF XIII. In fact, as is the case now, the online experience is about the same as that of Street Fighter V, so you can enjoy some good connections. However, it is not perfect. At the time of writing this article, the classified game has really terrible links. Some people have expressed problems with casual inactive games and SNK has heard them. The company is working on a solution in the week following the writing. I will update this review with new gameplay impressions after the patch is posted.
That said, the great online party mode shows that SNK learned what Arc System Works was doing with the Guilty Gear series. You enter a party (essentially an online arcade) with a lobby that can accommodate up to 12 players. During the party you can watch games, chat or organize a game with another member of the group instead of waiting for only one game to finish. This is useful because you can stay in the action with this.
KOF XIV also has an online training mode with which you can open the training mode with a friend on the internet. It is a great feature that many games unfortunately miss.
I played KOF XIV on PlayStation 4 for $ 339.96 at Amazon with the standard PS4 controller, as well as arcade sticks and battle blocks. They all worked well, even with converters that enabled me to use the Xbox 360 and Xbox One $ 338.00 on Amazon sticks. SNK has released a day-one patch with support for PlayStation 3 arcade sticks and DualShock 3 controllers.
I experienced very few performance problems outside of the online game. My PS4 works quietly during play, which has been rare lately. I noticed the occasional loading times after a resit, but it is nothing that breaks the experience. KOF XIV works and feels good.
The icing on the cake is Gallery, which is great with unlocking. Background music, sound effects, impressive illustrations and films can be unlocked by simply playing different modes. Some are hidden, forcing players to play with a specific predefined team or custom teams. Breakthroughs in Story Mode unlock many of the movies and illustrations. This is a great way to encourage players to replay modes as opposed to Capcom’s frustrating tactics against Street Fighter V.
In the eyes of the spectators
KOF XIV is ugly in some places, beautiful in others. Yes, SNK dramatically improved the polygonal images of their awful first glance, with many people seriously wondering whether the game was intended for tablets and smartphones. Yet the character models are not in the same frame of mind as Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator, a fighting game that has managed to jump to polygons without losing visual fidelity. Some KOF XIV characters, such as Andy Bogard and Goro Daimon, look like dolls and may have received more shade. I am not a fan of the fact that SNK gave up its incredible KOF XIII sprites, but I understand that it has been done to reduce costs. KOF XIV is a simple construction game for SNK, especially with regard to the use of 3D models.
On the positive side, the animations of KOF XIV are pretty good. Punching, kicking, Super Special Moves, Max Super Special Moves and Climax Super Special Moves all look flashy and impressive while transferring the incredible amount of damaged discs. The pace of the battle is not as fast as that of older KOF titles, but it is not slow at all. I believe that this was deliberately done to help newcomers in their ability to seize the mechanisms.
In addition, there are many models with cool characters. Luong, Kukri and Ramon immediately caught my attention because of their looks and movements. The entire South American team jumped off the screen as if I wanted to learn what my current project is. There is even a character in the game that pays homage to Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. Her name, Sylvie Paula Paula, and the fact that she calls “Pon Pon Pon”, a reference to one of the hit songs of KPP, testifies to this.
The king of the fighting
The release of KOF XIV is a great example to match fighting games, especially after the lukewarm launch of Street Fighter V. I am sure that in the future SNK will release DLC characters, colors and costumes, but the developer gave tons of content to the fans. Having an online game that not only works at the launch, but also works better, is also a huge advantage. I hope that KOF is more important in the United States, so that there are even more matches online (China, Mexico, South America and some other places have a huge follow-up of KOF). It is high time that the United States stop watching the KOF as a fun game to see and pick up for matches. SNK has done its bit to make KOF XIV valuable and accessible, while it remains deep and technical.
If you are a fan of the fighting game on KOF XIV, try the demo. Ignore the character models and focus on gameplay and animations. The King of Fighters XIV deserves the fighting game of this generation console.